THE MESSY REALITY OF SELF-DEFENSE: You’re Never Going to Get That Perfect Shot You Practice For

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 10.49.19 AMIn the heat of an attack things get messy fast… real fast. Question is, are you prepared for that?

By Rob Morse

This is an adult discussion.  It’s neither fit for college students who major in the art of being perpetually offended, nor other sensitive children.  I report on self-defense – the good and the bad.  I talk about the messy reality when we defend ourselves from criminal attack.  I mean real physical harm, not the emotional “trauma” of seeing the name of a Presidential Candidate written in chalk.  This is what I’ve noticed as I studied civilian self-defense.  First, thousands of ordinary people defend themselves with a firearm every day.  These people are our friends, neighbors, and relatives, who were simply going about their lives when they had to defend themselves.  Second, successful self-defense isn’t magic.  The people who studied and practiced seemed to do a better job at it.  Third, the reality of self-defense is very different from what we see from Hollywood.  That means we are carrying around some bad ideas unless we’ve taken enough training to replace Hollywood fiction with fact.  Here are some simple facts that leave this student of self-defense wanting to learn more.

If we study self-defense for very long, we’ll see that robbers practice and plan ahead.  The sooner we interrupt their plans the better.  Right there is where training and practice can give us an advantage.  It is too late to start your home study course in self-defense once you’re being attacked.  The people who trained for self-defense chose better options than those who had to learn through on-the-spot, in-the-moment, on-the-job training.  Good training before the fact can help us avoid being attacked in the first place.  I like that.. a lot!

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We are most likely to be attacked when we are away from home.  That means the arsenal in our gun safe is useless most of the time.  Think about that for a minute.  What we have on our body right now is what we will use to win or lose a self-defense encounter.  It is unlikely that we will have time to go to our car or safe room and get our gun, cell phone, flashlight, and trauma kit.  That is why criminals attack people who are, for example, on jogging trails.

Sorry, but there are no magic tokens to save you.  This is reality as opposed to a role-player video game.

Our options are limited.  Sometimes you can run away and escape.  Sometimes you can’t.  You will have to stand and fight if you are with your spouse, your children or your friends because you won’t leave them behind to face the attackers alone.  That leave us to defend ourselves from the threat, summon help, and provide aid to the injured.. with what we have in our pockets and in our minds.  The thing we need most of all is a plan, and training lets us make good choices on the spot.

It isn’t a fair fight.  Criminals want to outnumber us and they come prepared to overpower us with knives and guns.  Unless we train, we suffer a huge disadvantage because we won’t believe this is happening when we’re attacked.  Precious seconds pass as we process the situation and which options are available to us.  The criminals have already practiced and rehearsed for this moment with the intent to win at any cost.. while we are trying to mentally catch up to this violent and shocking encounter.


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